Traveling light

Long time since my last post. Life is really, but really crazy lately.


Last month I needed to travel to Zurich for work and I needed to travel light, carrying only hand luggage.

Obviously I was not considering leaving my camera behind, specially going somewhere I haven’t been since the 80’s, but it all had to fit in a small cabin carrier.

Not much I could ditch.

Tripods in the cabin are a no-go and I also didn’t want to risk with the platypod (they don’t care about what it is, but the fact that it’s a chunk of metal). But the small table top tripod would do the trick.

Needed a zoom lens, they are biggish but a one lens does it all, so I could leave the primes home. Obviously no flash and other accessories also, after all it’s travel photography.

I use a battery grip and I love it. I actually don’t use it for the extra battery. I have big hands and the battery grip gives me the perfect holding to the camera. More stability, portrait grip but a bigger and heavier camera, which also requires me to use a larger (way larger) top loader. Though it broke my heart, battery grip stayed home and I dug out my old and smaller bag.

Could fit it all in the cabin carrier, with weight limits. Great! Boarded to Zurich!

I like walking the places and in a city like Zurich, which is full of small alleys, that’s the best way to find great shots. Walking around with a smaller and lighter camera, without having to sacrifice much in terms of usability was great! My back and my neck are really thankful!

Unfortunately I did not have the chance to look into my images (you know, the craziness that prevents me from shooting), but I have a lot of fun.

What’s your experience on that?

Posted in Photography | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

How much gear do you really use??

We hear a lot about GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome), which is this need to have the latest and greatest or this itchy feeling to buy this little thing that is going to make your photography amazing … I’m not going to enter in this discussion, but just tell a small story about the gear you own, the one you carry and the one you actually use.

Canon Line up

A bunch of gear … not mine … 🙂

A couple of weeks ago we went on a family trip to a nearby lake. Beautiful place we already visited a couple of times. This time I was armed with tripod, platypod (this plate that can hold your camera almost a ground level), ball-head and so on. We were taking a buggy, in case my little daughter get tired and didn’t want to walk anymore, so carrying the gear would come “for free”. It was daytime and a very sunny day, so not piece of landscape art would be made, but I was “prepared” for some nice shots.

Needless to say that during the whole hike, all the gear stayed in the buggy and I just walked around with the camera alternating shots of the kids and and the landscape.

At a certain point I decided to go down to the lake margin (the hiking path was a bit elevated) and take some shots of the nearly totally frozen lake. Obviously the only thing a carried with me was the camera and its bag, where the remote lives together with a small portable tripod, which is in the limit of handling the camera’s weight. Well, at the end of the day, this was all the gear that I used.

Conclusion from this short story. I should either get rid of all this gear, or better, stop being lazy and start correctly using the gear I own!! 🙂

Posted in Photography | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Upgrading to Lightroom Classic CC

Adobe has recently release the long overdue upgrade of Lightroom.

Lightroom Classic CC

Lightroom Classic CC – Splash screen

In 2015, the company has “split” the product in two branches, the subscription one “Lightroom CC” and the perpetual license “Lightroom 6”. In practice the same product, just that the CC would allow you to sign in and share collections with mobile devices and “Lightroom Web”. With this branching came the promise that Lightroom perpetual license would not be a dead end.

In this period the mobile version of Lightroom has been largely developed, though it was never a real use case for me, apart from the eventual culling on the road.

Now we have a new version and a huge mess with naming. First, Lightroom perpetual license died! They did the last update to Lightroom 6 a couple of weeks ago and it’s over. The Lightroom CC (the good old Lightroom in subscription mode) was renamed to Lightroom Classic CC (What?? Classic?? The state of the art photographic processing software now sounds like a vintage product? YES!) and now Lightroom CC refers to a new version of Lightroom that stores your data in the cloud! Yes! A big naming mess!!!

If you had Lightroom CC and was happy with it, just upgrade to Lightroom Classic CC and keep being happy (do they say). It has new tools and is supposed to be way faster than the previous version, even though I haven’t hear a word about them moving away from SQLite2, the main source of slowness.

The new Lightroom CC is a product of it’s own. Comes in a separate subscription model that gives you 1TB of cloud storage. Your data stays in the cloud, your processing stays in your hardware (I would love to have the opposite) and you can access your data from multiple devices, desktop or mobile. The tool, from what I read is quite limited, but a product that just started its evolution. It doesn’t fit my workflow. I have more than 1TB of data and need the advanced tools of Lightroom, not the basic set currently offered. otherwise I would just use one of the current open-source options in the market.

You can test Lightroom CC with your normal Adobe subscription with a 20GB storage, but be aware that you’re discouraged to have both versions installed and effects might be unpredictable.

The upgrade process is simple. Your Creative Cloud app will offer you all the options. Basically upgrade your Photoshop CC and install Lightroom Classic CC. You’ll also be offered to upgrade your old Lightroom CC, in case you didn’t, and to install the new Lightroom CC … you see the mess this can cause. Before doing it, don’t forget to backup all your catalogues.

This change in business model already made several colleagues change their minds and their software. Some went to McPhun (also renamed to something terrible), some are trying open-source software.

As soon as you open the new Lightroom Classic CC, it will ask you to upgrade the catalog. Do it for each catalog you have, which can be a long process. It will rename your catalog adding a “2” at the end, which you can’t avoid or choose. You have change it by hand later (including renaming the previews directories), another long process.

I just recent upgraded my Lightroom, so I’ll talk about the performance changes and new tools in a later occasion.

Posted in Photography | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Merry Xmas and Happy New Year!!!

Late Merry Xmas and a Happy 2018 to all!!!!

Merry Xmas and Happy New Year (Photo: Cris da Rocha)

2017 was a slow year in this land, but not dead! Very busy with several projects that prevented me from actively posting meaningful content around here. Hopefully a new series will come in 2018!!

Posted in Photography | Tagged , | Leave a comment

It’s not about the F-Stop

Despite the lack of time for writing here more often (work, personal projects, changes in private life …), I still can read! 🙂

It's not about the F-Stop - Jay Maisel

It’s not about the F-Stop – Jay Maisel

The photographic “victim” this time was “It’s not about the F-Stop“, by the legendary Jay Maisel.

Jay Maisel is one of those photographers that you can hear talking forever. Each sentence is a lecture. There’s a great series of conversation between him and Scott Kelby (A Day with Jay Maisel, Another Day with Jay Maisel and A Week with Kay Maisel in Paris). Totally worth watching.

In this book, Jay follows the nice model I’ve seen before in “The Moment it Clicks“, by Joe McNally. One picture, one page about it. Jay tells the stories of his career, sometimes directly related by the image displayed, sometimes general advice exemplified in the picture. You can travel through his history, in no chronological order, from his first assignments, to his free photography. He explains what has called his attention to each of the shots. An inspirational process.

Surely worth reading more than once!

Posted in Photography | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment